Cafés in Lisbon

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  • Café culture - the best coffeehouses in Lisbon

    Portugal's social scene revolves around coffee. In the country's capital sipping on a strong, black bica, or espresso, is a morning ritual. Of course, this dark, rich beverage can be savoured any time of day and night, and with milk if you prefer. And thanks to historic links with Africa and South America, coffee in Portugal is good. Really good! But where are the best cafés in Lisbon to savour this ubiquitous and hugely popular drink? Here's our Top 10 list of suggestions.

    Up there in the pantheon of percolation is Café Versailles. One of the city's most elegant historic coffee houses, Versailles dates from the early 1930s and is renowned for its cake and gateaux selections and hot chocolate, a deliciously decadent house speciality.

    In complete contrast is Orpheu Caffé. Refreshingly contemporary in looks, we like this place for its garden overlook and superb brunches.

    Third up is Café Vértigo - the original 1950's and 1960's décor lend it a genuine retro look and the menu tempts with homemade food.

    No list of Lisbon cafés would be complete without mention of Café A Brasileira. Equally celebrated for its Art Nouveau interior and the bronze statue of Fernando Pessoa on the terrace, this place can get crowded such is its guidebook popularity. Arrive early.

    Fifth on the list is Café Nicola, another historic coffee-serving establishment that fringes the busy Rossio Square. This is one of the best cafés for people watching.

    The friendly and trendy Café Infusão makes it six in a row with its outstanding crêpe menu, a rarity in the capital. The proprietors are French and Portuguese so you really get the real deal here.

    Another café with a foreign theme is seventh-placed Kaffeehaus, Austrian-run and a great place to chill over afternoon espresso and a generous slice of apfelstrudel.

    Eight-placed Café Bernard trades on its vintage 1920's heritage - all wooden interior and low-key lighting. It's another historic venue that can get crowded at times but still manages to convey a sense of yesteryear.

    Number nine on the list is Antiga Confeitaria de Belém, home to the famous pastéis de nata, a kind of custard tart that's been served here since 1837. The recipe is a closely guarded secret, but not the address. Expect a throng of tourists anytime of day, except perhaps on Sunday mornings.

    Last but not least is Café A Margem, a smart little eatery also in Belém with a sweeping waterfront esplanade - coffee with a river view.

    Notable exclusions due to lack of space include Royale Café in Chiado, quite the in-place for fashionable lisboetas, and Café no Chiado in the same vicinity. A relatively new café-with-a-view is Café Esplanade do Torel. Not the most attractive terrace granted, but the appeal here lies with its off the beaten track location and younger, local vibe. The place is still being discovered, so why don't you take a look yourself?

    You're not looking for a wild night out. You're looking for somewhere to leisurely soak in ambiance of {0}, perhaps over a steaming beverage and tasty treat. Look no further than the cafes. Whether you want to while away an afternoon or are just jonseing for a cup of Joe, these are your go-to spots in {0}. We'll save you a seat.

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    Cafe Versailles

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    Avenida Republica 15 A

    Historic, elegant venue, city landmark... read more

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    Orpheu Caffe

    Praca do Principe Real 5

    Elegant, contemporary eatery, youthful vibe...
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    Cafe Vertigo

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    Travessa do Carmo 4

    Vintage décor, great range of teas, biological produce... read more

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    Cafe A Brasileira

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    Rua Garrett 120

    Celebrated landmark, Art Nouveau décor, assocaited with Fernando Pessoa... read more

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    Café Nicola

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    Praca Dom Pedro IV 24
    west side of Rossío

    Synonymous with coffee, central location, convivial atmosphere... read more

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    Cafe Infusao

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    Rua da Trindade 7

    Crêperie, teas and infusions, hip and friendly...
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    Rua Anchieta 3

    Viennese-style coffee house serving delicious Austrian food... read more

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    Cafe Bernard

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    Rua Garrett 104

    Traditional, vintage atmosphere, fresh pastries, culturally significant... read more

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    Antiga Confeitaria de Belém

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    Rua de Belém 84-92

    Historic café and visitor attraction, famed for its pastéis de nata... read more

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    A Margem

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    Doca do Bom Sucesso

    Waterfront café, river views, delicious sandwiches... read more
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